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Samoan Coconut Rolls from The Food Charlatan
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5 from 1 vote

Samoan Coconut Rolls

These Samoan coconut rolls are AMAZING! I have never had a softer, moister, more pillowy roll in my entire life.


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast, 1 package
  • 3 tablespoons water, warm, 105F- 115 F
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk, divided (don't use light)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, half stick
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup powdered milk, non-fat or other
  • 3 & ½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • optional: light sprinkling of coarse salt OR raw sugar


  • In a stand mixer or large bowl add the tablespoon of yeast, then pour the warm water over it and stir to combine. You want the water nice and warm, not hot. Stir it up and set the bowl aside.
  • Shake up your can of coconut milk. In a large (4 cup) measuring cup, pour in one cup of the coconut milk. Add half a stick of salted butter. Put it in the microwave, and heat until the butter is about halfway melted, just a minute or two. Take it out, add ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon salt, and stir it until the butter melts all the way. If necessary, let the milk cool off for a bit. You are about to add an egg and you don't want to cook it.
  • Crack in the egg and whisk rapidly so that it doesn't curdle. Add the powdered milk and whisk until combined.
  • By now your yeast should be nice and frothy. Add the milk/butter mixture to the yeast mixture.
  • At this point I held the dough hook in my hand and stirred everything together manually. Then attach it to your mixer and turn it on medium low until everything is combined. (If you aren't using a mixer, you can do this all with a strong wooden spoon and some elbow grease.)
  • Add 3 ½ cups of flour that have been spooned and leveled. Continue mixing dough.
  • Add in enough additional flour (if needed) to make soft dough: it should be pretty sticky, but not wet. Check out my photos below. It will not pull away completely from the sides of the bowl.
  • Set a timer for 8 minutes, and let the mixer knead the dough on low. Or, turn dough on lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover loosely with a clean cloth or with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for one and a half or two hours. Mine did not double in size, but it did rise. Try to get close to two hours.
  • Punch the dough down.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into balls.
  • Place in greased 12 -inch round pan. You can use a cast iron skillet, or a 9x13 pan would also work. (At this point, you can refrigerate, covered, for up to 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for one hour before baking.)
  • If you aren't refrigerating, let the rolls rise for another 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the top of the rolls generously with coconut milk, then pour the rest of the milk evenly into the pan. Yes, all of it. Sprinkle with sugar or salt.
  • Bake until the crust is deep golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly and serve.


You can top these rolls with either raw sugar or coarse salt. I prefer the salt, because I think it cuts the sweetness of the rolls really well. Sprinkle it on after you brush with coconut milk, right before baking. One other thing: I like to turn my oven to "warm" (170 degrees) for about 45 seconds or a minute, then turn it off and place the dough inside to rise. Just make sure you take it out before preheating the oven!
Source: adapted from Immaculate Bites


Serving: 1 roll, Calories: 219 kcal, Carbohydrates: 37 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 28 mg, Sodium: 147 mg, Potassium: 85 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 9 g, Vitamin A: 164 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 34 mg, Iron: 2 mg